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"PARTICIPATING IN BASEBALL AS A little kid in Minnesota tends to give a person a healthy dose of perspective… I recall those days fondly as one of the rites of spring that not only helped me get through the very cold winters up here as a kid, but that also came to symbolize much that is good about Saint Paul. There was an innocent, simple joy in the changing of the seasons, and it remains a poignant memory to this day."
So says former major league outfielder Paul Molitor in his highly personal introductory essay to Saint Paul: Home for All Seasons . Molitor's Saint Paul childhood-playing lots of baseball in one of the almost countless parks and playgrounds that dot the city - helped prepare him for his long and illustrious career in the major leagues. After 21 seasons, Molitor returned to his hometown, where he now sponsors the Molitor Fields for Kids program, which refurbishes old baseball fields around the Midwest.
And while the city still cares very much about its young people, Molitor points out that many things have changed. Aided by beautiful images from some of the area's finest photographers, he documents the city's seemingly ongoing season of growth, from the Xcel Energy Center - home of the NHL's Minnesota Wild - to the family-oriented Science Museum downtown, to the wealth of opportunities that abound locally.
Any season of the year, Saint Paul is a terrific place, Molitor concludes. "But for me, it's especially nice in the early spring, when my thoughts always seem to wander back to those days when I'd go down to the basement, find my baseball glove in one of the boxes, and go outside to test the air to see if it was warm and fresh enough for a game of catch. That's when I recognize the feel of the place the best, the feel of a place called." For Molitor and for so many others, Saint Paul is truly a home for all seasons.